Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Saturday, February 6th, 2021


jim2February 20th, 2021 at 3:45 pm

Too quiet here!

Maybe everyone is busy in the on-going Slush Cup. I had a good result last night, but could not understand why. I was at the helm at 3D.

Dummy : J2 AQ K8743 A1098

Declarer: Q873 532 QJ96 K2

The bidding had gone:



All Pass

The opening lead as the AS, followed by the KS and a third:

– SA,2,10,3

– SK,J,9,7

– S6

Plan the play!

bobbywolffFebruary 20th, 2021 at 5:10 pm

Hi Jim2,

First, since everyone is always interested in records, this week meant the first time in recorded history that Texas (my home state) was ever colder at the same time than Lower Slobbovia.

Now back to business. Since the remaining king of hearts and ace of diamonds are almost certain (barring a phony 1NT response by East) to being in different hands, we need to plan ahead. Also my guess of the location of the ten of diamonds is perhaps about 5 to 2 (21/2 to 1) in favor of it being with East. S since 3 diamonds was passed out, it is likely that West, does not hold 5 hearts to which he let it go, and East having four, still with a likely rank minimum hand and although 4 card support, especially if vulnerable, correctly decided to steer clear of the three level.

All the above dictates me to ruff the third spade with the king of diamonds and then, if not overruffed, lead one off the table, then, of course, when that held, take the heart finesse to the dummy for another diamond lead, assuming that West had played a small diamond on the previous lead from dummy.

All very neat and not gaudy, but, and of course aware of a (probably minor) change if something unlikely (to my view) occurs.

Making 10 tricks +130 for a decent score, certainly above average.

If I missed something, it was either just too cold to think or perhaps the lovely Lena had just come in the room and all of us had to gasp.

In any event those two excuses will need to do, until and unless I think of a 3rd one.

Patrick CheuFebruary 20th, 2021 at 5:49 pm

Hi Jim, Would like to discard QH on trick 3 and play West to have AD singleton.. and win East return(except D) and play a diamond towards KD…using KC entry if necessary. If East returns a diamond and a fourth spade by West ruff with KD..planning to ruff 2 hearts in dummy..after unblocking AH…I am trying not to visualize ATxx diamonds in East hand…that’s my excuse for AD singleton somewhere…:D..alright wise guy give me the fried eggs…:) regards Patrick.

Patrick CheuFebruary 20th, 2021 at 5:50 pm

Oops our replies crossed

Patrick CheuFebruary 20th, 2021 at 5:57 pm

Hi Bobby, Prefer your line as I am getting a headache thinking what Jim2 has concorted for us…in a mere 3D contract..some funny breaks..due to..those card migrations…:)

bobbywolffFebruary 20th, 2021 at 6:25 pm

Hi Patrick,

Jim2, devious and/or provocative?, not on my life, even on your more valuable life, since hopefully you have many more moons to experience. However he is definitely a “wise guy”, very!

My guess as to his motive is simply the bridge logic to which thoughtful opponents act, rather than nasty distributions appearing out of nowhere.

However, if the person who opined “you never know a person till you live with her or him” is correct, then I am as wrong as usual.

Patrick CheuFebruary 20th, 2021 at 8:52 pm

Hi Bobby, You know Jim2 better than I do..;)

jim2February 20th, 2021 at 9:34 pm

I have posted two follow-ups, but the site will not show them, and keeps saying I already posted that.

jim2February 20th, 2021 at 9:58 pm

The fourth time also failed. Perhaps its a length thing. I will try in parts.

The hand was played yesterday, with my partner holding the Board hand. He e-mailed it to me as I presented it here. I answered that I would pitch the QH on the third spade, forcing RHO to ruff and thus guarantee that I could draw trump and ruff two hearts on Board.

jim2February 20th, 2021 at 10:01 pm

His partner ruffed small. In the post mortem, he suggested ruffing with KD.

jim2February 20th, 2021 at 10:02 pm

LHO: AKxxx Jxxx void Qxxx
RHO: 10x K10xx A10xx Jxx

jim2February 20th, 2021 at 10:06 pm

I replied that once RHO had played two spades, he must have four hearts since he did not correct to 2S over the t/o double. His failure to bid 3H over 3D meant he felt he had too good a defense against 3D, hence all the missing Ds. This, in turn, meant LHO had a void which meant he could easily have shaded his opener due to that shape and a spade suit headed by AK – so the KH could be in either hand.

jim2February 20th, 2021 at 10:09 pm

Ruffing with the KD might work. If RHO declines to over-ruff, it gets messy since the KH is offside. One possible line would be to ruff with KD, lead small diamond off table, win QD, and swear (silently) at the trump break. Then advance the QS and pitch the QH then. It might work, and declarer might even get a cross-ruff, but the initial shortening of the Board’s trump holding makes it tough work and my head hurts thinking about it because it is easy to run out of tricks.

bobbywolffFebruary 20th, 2021 at 10:19 pm

Hi Patrick,

Yes, I almost surely do, although I have never seen him (nor a photo), been physically or mentally in his company while online, played bridge at his table, personally discussed any phase of bridge, nor anything else related to it, but I can say first hand, although could never prove anything, how careful he is about saying anything which could hurt anyone’s feelings, their attitude toward bridge and also to relationships, as well as to life itself.

The perfect human? Probably not, because technically that is likely impossible, but if was not, he would be a leading candidate.

IOW, he wouldn’t ever comment on anything bridge, and my guess, any subject, where the answer might cause anyone in his direct or indirect audience to feel any kind of negative emotion.

BTW, he also has a very sophisticated sense of humor. But true, I do not know him other than this expressed, but simply guessed, opinion.

Curses, his last post is likely farcical, but one which is consistent with his personality.

jim2February 21st, 2021 at 12:46 am

Jeepers! The hand happened exactly as I related somewhere around Winston Salem, NC. Of course, the current weather makes LS look warm!

My old-time partner e-mailed it to me precisely as I have related, with only the NS hands, bidding, and the first three spade leads. My answer to him is what I posted here. I only learned the EW hands andd what happened at the table later.

No farce this time, though I am packing my bags for my flight to LS ….

jim2February 21st, 2021 at 12:55 am

And TY for your kind words, Dear Host!


Patrick CheuFebruary 21st, 2021 at 12:41 pm

Hi Bobby, Life’s never boring when we have this web site of yours! Lol Patrick

Patrick CheuFebruary 21st, 2021 at 12:46 pm

Hi Jim2, Just what I needed during this lockdown,ATxx Diamonds in East’s hand..please give me the fried eggs(?!) instead of another headache…;) Regards Patrick

bobbywolffFebruary 21st, 2021 at 2:22 pm

Hi Patrick & Jim2,

No doubt, I caused this and probably also the Chicago fire with Mrs. O’leary’s cow way back when. My imagination is unchecked and much too loose.

Patrick, all the diamonds with East is also surprising, but instead of fried eggs, how about a dozen aspirin or at least a tall gin on the rocks?

And now with this lockdown, Sunday has turned into the most active day of the week
with some Church services on TV.

Next week we’ will discuss how to play doubled contracts, starting out with playing them under an assumed name.